carrie, Author at Cascade Lakes Relay | Relay on Us™

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Running the First Leg, a guest post by Sole Train's Greg L.


Each time I have run the Cascade Lakes Relay, I have wished I had something to record the voices in my head (no not ‘those’ voices) as they tried to describe the event, the landscape and the experience of a Relay through the exquisite world that is Southern Oregon. To put this all in context, this year, my fifth time participating in the Cascade Lakes Relay and I came back after the first one because of the sights, sounds and scenery that assaulted the senses from the first hours of leaving Diamond Lake to the final stretches as we rolled into Bend and the finish line. Along the way taking in snowy peaks and the amazingly blue lakes along the Cascade Lake highway. 2013 marked my fifth year of participating in this event, and my new red shirt was quite the surprise as I had not realized that I’d been at it that long.


So, trying to capture my thoughts and feelings and the privilege of running an event such as this, I went back to some of those voices. The ones that have not completely gone away, despite me sitting at my desk and the noise of the regular work day.


The van is loaded and Van 2 team members have it down to a fine art. No extraneous food or personal items that don’t factor into the event. Nothing that we have to dig through to get to what’s necessary. Cots and a collapsible chair, because you know there is no scrimping on comfort . The cooler is a sensible size and the baggage kept to a minimum. Zip lock and Eagle creek bags keep everything in handy grab sized packages. Even my Mountain Hardware […]

By |August 9th, 2013|News|Comments Off on Running the First Leg, a guest post by Sole Train's Greg L.

Cascade Lakes Relay 2013: The One Where The Relay Tries To Take Me Down

We would love to share your race recaps with our readers. If you have posted a write-up of the 2013 Cascade Lakes Relay and are willing to have it be a guest post, please shoot me an email at
* * *
by Teri Smith
When Scott and Carrie asked me to join the team last February, I felt pretty confident that I knew what I was in for. Years of running the Cascade Lakes Relay had made me tough, ready for the physical and mental challenges my favorite relay would surely throw my way. After all, I had conquered leg 2a and 2b in one fell swoop. I had submitted myself to the choking heat of leg 5. I was a veteran of sleepless nights and raging mosquitos. Surely being on the race staff could not be as rough as running itself, right?
You probably know where this is going.
Helping put on the CLR kicked my ass.
Darn hubris.

At a particularly low moment, after having lost wi-fi connection for what seemed to be the thousandth time, I wondered how Scott, Carrie and the rest of the crew could do this year after year. They must be superhuman, I concluded, made of something other than whatever constituted my internal makeup.
I wondered how I would be able to continue.
But as so often happens when you are starting out on that third leg, exhausted by too many miles of running, red vines, and lack of sleep, you find the strength to bring it home. I started to rally.
And I figured out how they keep doing this year after year.
The answer is you.


 The runners, walkers and volunteers who make up the Cascade Lakes Relay are some of the coolest people on the planet. […]

By |August 7th, 2013|News|Comments Off on Cascade Lakes Relay 2013: The One Where The Relay Tries To Take Me Down

Meet CLRG Staff Member Emily!

Look for Emily out on the costume contest leg or getting up to wacky hijinx along the course. Our Director of Fun & Games loves to have fun. 

What’s your job with the CLR/S2S?
Director of Fun and Games for CLR and S2S
What song are you embarrassed to admit you can’t help dancing to?
Glamorous – I have a station on Pandora based on that song that’s full of songs I’m embarrassed to be listening to but love dancing around my house to.
What food do you crave in the wee hours of the night during a relay?
Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches
What superhero do you sometimes wish you could be?
Wonder Woman
What’s your least favorite running or walking weather?
Windy – I’d rather walk or run in the rain.
What’s your favorite line from a movie?
“As you wish…” That’s more of a line from my favorite movie.
What’s your favorite spot on the CLR course?
The view of the mountains from exchange point 5.
What’s your favorite spot on the S2S course?
The finish line in Sandpoint. It’s gorgeous! A great spot to finish the relay.
What vegetable did you hate to eat as a kid?
I don’t think I hated vegetables when I was younger but I didn’t have brussels sprouts until I was 22 years old because my parents hated them when they were growing up.
What’s your favorite post race beverage?
Chocolate milk or beer
Why do you love working for the CLR and S2S?
There are so many reasons I love working for CLR and S2S. Here are just a few…I love working for CLR and S2S because it’s different from my other job as a 3rd grade teacher. I love the fact that I get to travel and see places I’ve never been before. I enjoy being […]

By |July 25th, 2013|News|Comments Off on Meet CLRG Staff Member Emily!

Top 7 Tips For Being An Awesome Relay Teammate

Relays are a special kind of running race. Sure, it helps if you can run fast, but honestly, the best relay teammates are not necessarily the ones with the fastest splits. Conquering a overnight relay requires a wide skillset, including the ability to endure sleep deprivation and van funk with a positive attitude. If you are new to the relay game, or if you’re just wanting to brush up your teammate skills, here’s our guide to being the most awesome relay teammate ever.



1. Be flexible.

Relays are tough, physically and emotionally, and you need to be able to adapt as you go.  If you are a person who likes to control a situation, try and let go as much of that need as possible during race weekend. Your team captain may need to change the plan on the fly, or your runner may get lost and you might not have time to prepare for your leg the way you’d like. Do your best to roll with the punches, and your teammates will appreciate you for it.


2. Show your enthusiasm.

Cheer loudly for your teammates, rattle the cowbell, plan funny photo opportunities. The more fun you are having, the more fun your teammates are probably having. Don’t be afraid to be silly or childish – that’s kind of what this relay thing is all about.


3. Be prepared.

Nothing is more frustrating than a teammate who needs some of your bandaids…and sunscreen…and gatorade…and headphones…well, you get the picture. Use a packing list and make sure you bring everything you need for the weekend. Better yet, be generous with your stuff when your teammates don’t have something they need, and then you’ll be the hero.

There is a caution with this suggestion […]

By |July 23rd, 2013|News|Comments Off on Top 7 Tips For Being An Awesome Relay Teammate

Team Captain Webinar Recording

Slowly but surely we are figuring out the technologies for putting on these meetings. Tonight, we made a recording, but after opening up the file, I realized that it is just an audio recording. Regardless, there is a lot of good information in the hour long call, and we encourage you to give it a listen.

The file is located here:

Once the file downloads, doubleclick on it to listen in.

If you have any questions about the relay, please do not hesitate to email me at

By |July 21st, 2013|News|Comments Off on Team Captain Webinar Recording

A Complete Packing List for the Cascade Lakes Relay

Wondering what to bring along on your CLR adventure? Here’s a complete packing list to make sure you don’t forget a thing:

Complete Packing List

By |July 18th, 2013|Tips|Comments Off on A Complete Packing List for the Cascade Lakes Relay

The Importance of Hydration




We are surrounded by it as we run the Cascade Lakes Highway, and yet the lack of it in our bodies can spell trouble to the hardworking athlete. Water can be the difference between a good race and a bad one – the difference between heat exhaustion and just being hot. Do you know how to use water to your advantage during a relay?


Do you need to drink a ton of water in the days leading up to the relay? Probably not.  As long as your urine is normal, keep doing what you’re doing. You can’t cram in water; your body will just get rid of the excess. So spend your energy packing or studying your legs!

Everyone knows that hydration while running is important. While recent research suggests that drinking to thirst is enough to keep our bodies in balance, it is still important to make sure we have water available when our bodies ask for it. You should plan to carry water during the hottest legs (between noon and 5 pm), especially if your run is unsupported (legs #1, 4, 26, 36). If you are not going to carry water, have your team stop every mile to check on you. If you feel thirsty, drink. Your body will repay you by feeling better later.


Hydrating after the run is just as important as hydrating during the run. Let thirst be your guide, and keep a water bottle near. Be sure to keep extra water in your vehicle – after you leave Hwy 97 on Friday, there are no provisions until you reach Silver Lake. On Saturday, once you leave La Pine, you will only have two small resorts to find any provisions at. Stock up.


Don’t […]

By |July 18th, 2013|Tips|Comments Off on The Importance of Hydration

Why All The Safety Gear?



This is what a runner looks like at 150 feet in the headlights when he’s not wearing any safety gear.


Shocking, isn’t it? You might get lucky and catch a reflection off of his water bottle or socks if you’re lucky. It’s pretty clear why it’s so important that you wear reflective gear when you’re out running after dark.


But reflective gear alone still can leave you fairly invisible, as the photo below shows.



This is why we require you to use reflective vests and show them to us at check-in. Running at night without anything to show the cars where you are is quite dangerous. And remember too – when you are out of the van, even if you aren’t running – you are still invisible to cars if you don’t have a vest on. If you’re going to on the road to support your runner, make sure you’ve got good reflective gear on. FootZone in Bend and Fit Right NW in Portland both carry a variety of reflective products that you can use.

We are also requiring that each team carry four blinking red lights this year (like these ones) – one to wear on front, and one to wear on back. These lights are especially helpful on the gravel legs (#13 – 17), which tend to get quite dusty as the vans drive by. The red light will cut through the haze and help you be seen. All safety gear should be worn between dusk and dawn.



By |July 16th, 2013|News|Comments Off on Why All The Safety Gear?

Meet Chief H2O


We are very lucky to have Bob Dolan, a member of the well known Tomahops team, volunteering for us this year as Chief H2O and leader of the Water Ambassador team. Bob will be roving the course, looking for folks in need of a cool glass of water or an “attitude adjustment” – a quick spray down in the heat. And expect to hear some water themed songs blasting from his car…maybe a little “Gimme Some Water” from Eddie Money?


Here’s a little more about Bob:


Some fun facts about me:
I have been rock climbing 23 years — since I was 11 years old.
I have two broken ankles.
I have arthritis in 8 of my 10 fingers
I ran track and cross-country back in high school
I “ran” the Marine Corps Marathon 6 times while living in DC — only once “officially”
I ran 42 miles of the CLR back in 2012 — including an abysmal and stiflingly hot time trial up the back of Bachelor
I was an EMT in the District of Columbia back in 2002 – 2004
I have a 10 year old golden retriever named Mel
I currently live in Portland Oregon, but I have lived in NY state, North Carolina, Washington DC, and South Carolina as well



What song are you embarrassed to admit you can’t help dancing to?
Under Pressure Bowie and Queen


What food do you crave in the wee hours of the night during a relay?
PB and J. Oh, and coffee.


What superhero do you sometimes wish you could be?
Aquaman of course!


What’s your least favorite running or walking weather?
Early morning sunrises in the fall.


What’s your favorite spot on the CLR course?
THE HILL (aka Leg 19)


What’s your favorite post race beverage?


Why do you love volunteering for the CLR?
The camaraderie of your […]

By |July 15th, 2013|News|Comments Off on Meet Chief H2O

Worried About The Heat? You're Not The Only One

We received the following message the other day, and we thought she is probably not the only one who is concerned about running in the heat. She graciously agreed to let us share her question and our response.


hey there…i was wondering if you have any helpful hints for me and elevation/heat sickness when i am over there again?  I start drinking lots of water a few days before, limit alcohol,have salt and sugar handy..i got sick 2 years ago* on leg 10 and just ran holding ice and being sprayed down by my team for the rest of the relay. i was just over there and the same sickness came on after about mile 10 of the dirty half…i have been training in the heat mid day here in the valley but what other helpful hints do you have?  my team is prepared to help in any way..thx


First, let me say you are already taking the major steps to handle the heat. Being well hydrated and training in the heat are really helpful. The more you can acclimate your body to running in the heat, the better off you are. It takes about two weeks of training in the warmer temperatures for your body to make the adaptations, so the more you can run in the heat, the better. According to this NYT article, the more you learn to sweat in the heat, the better off you are.


Although the NYT article disagrees, I’ve found that keeping yourself cool is another key piece. Ice in the sports bra or wrapped around the neck, dousing yourself with water – all good. The cooler you can stay, the better off you’ll be.


I have read that caffeine can cause […]

By |July 12th, 2013|Tips|Comments Off on Worried About The Heat? You're Not The Only One